Founder's story

Chris Nelson is a Yoga teacher, writer, speaker and entrepreneur. Before founding Ashiyana, he had been creating businesses around Yoga and natural healthcare for over fifteen years. Whilst running Yoga retreats around the world, he was always on the lookout for an idyllic spot where he could realise his long-held dream of creating a deeply relaxing, tropical retreat centre by the sea. 

In the winter of 2004, he discovered the magical little village of Mandrem in the north of Goa, which was off the beaten path for travelers and yet was serene and beautiful. It was during an early morning fishing trip with the local fishermen that he first heard about the palm grove across the river from the sand dunes. Once on the land, it only took a few seconds for him to realise that this was where he would create his dream, and what was to become Ashiyana. 

Ashiyana opened its bridge entrance to the world in December 2006, and year upon year it has grown and evolved into what is now one of the most acclaimed Yoga and healing retreat centres in India and the world. Our sister centre, Ashiyana Brazil, opened in October 2019.

Chris published his first book, ‘Wake Up and SOAR’, in April 2016 (Watkins), and is currently writing a second book called, ‘Soul Surfing and The Circle of HOPE’, which offers a simple, yet potent, model for being in a deeply fulfilling state of flow. It is this quest for depth of experience, which underlies the philosophy of Ashiyana – the invitation to come home to your own restful place within.

Chris’ vision is to create a "global wellbeing support system", on- and off-line.